Nothing says New England like some fresh striped bass for dinner, and adding lobster to the mix makes it even better. This recipe from The Beach Plum Inn Cookbook, by Theresa A. Morse and Fred Feiner (Doubleday), combines two Vineyard favorites into one cohesive dish. Striped bass has white-fleshed fillets with a firm texture and mild flavor that adapts well to other flavors. Topped with the smooth and thick sauce, redolent with decadent lobster, butter, and white wine, the bass takes on a new level of complexity, without becoming too heavy (even though it is cooked in clarified butter). The breadcrumbs sprinkled on top add a modicum of crunch, and a pinch of paprika provides color and spice. Finished with a squeeze of bright lemon and some chopped parsley, this dish is like a French classic specifically tailored for MV ingredients.

Serves 6

  • Lobster sauce, recipe follows
  • 1/3 cup clarified butter, divided
  • 3–3 1/2 pounds striped bass fillets (1 1/4–1 1/2 inches thick), cut into 6 portions
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 tablespoons white breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 6 lemon wedges
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1. Make lobster sauce first and set aside.

2. In a large oven-proof skillet, melt half the butter over medium heat. Place fillets, skin-side down, and sauté for about 5 minutes.

3. Remove skillet from stove and put under broiler about 4 inches from heat. Broil for about 6 minutes.

4. Remove skillet from broiler, brush remaining butter over fish, add lemon juice, and sprinkle on breadcrumbs. Return to broiler. Fish will now color quickly. Remove when golden brown. Sprinkle on paprika.

5. Remove fish to warmed platter. Spoon warm lobster sauce over fish. Serve with lemon wedges and parsley.

Lobster Sauce

Prepared in advance, this will keep well for hours in refrigerator. Reheat slowly in double boiler, stirring a few times.

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups stock made from lobster shells
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine, heated
  • 5–6 ounces cooked lobster meat, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, warmed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter, stir in flour, and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.

2. Add stock, bring to a boil, stirring with wire whisk until smooth and thick.

3. Add wine, lobster meat, celery salt, paprika, and chives. Bring to boil, reduce heat, then add heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper. Place in double boiler and keep warm without boiling.

This recipe was originally published with the article, Ten Irresistible Eats.